Advent Calendar | Dec. 9

16 Days Until Christmas




“Yes, God so loved the world as to give the Only Begotten One, that whoever believes may not die, but have eternal life. God sent the Only Begotten into the world not to condemn the world, but that through the Only Begotten the world might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)



o holy nightO holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.

He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.



“O Holy Night” (“Cantique de Noël”) was composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem “Minuit, Chrétiens” (Midnight, Christians) by Placide Cappeau. Cappeau, a wine merchant and poet, had been asked by a parish priest to write a Christmas poem. Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight, editor of Dwight’s Journal of Music, created a singing edition based on Cappeau’s French text in 1855. In both the French original and in the two familiar English versions of the carol, the text reflects on the birth of Jesus and of humanity’s redemption.

There’s more to story: The song was successful, but it was attacked by church officials in France because of the reputations of the lyricist and composer. Cappeau opposed inequality, slavery, injustice and other kinds of oppression and was labeled a social radical, freethinker, socialist and non-Christian. The composer, Adam, had a reputation as a composer of light operatic works and was alleged to be Jewish, which led the church officials to deem his work incompatible with the composition of a Christian religious song.

Cappeau’s strong abolitionist views may have influenced aspects of the song, including
“Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.”

“O Holy Night” may have been the first carol played live on a Christmas radio broadcast when
Reginald Fessenden from a Massachusetts station to ships at sea on Dec. 24, 1906.




We fall on our knees and listen for your angel voices, Holy One. May we accept you into our hearts. Amen.

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